REMOVE HIDDEN JUNK
Without Killing your PC
There are few certainties in life beyond death and taxes? But another thing we’re pretty sure of is that every single one of our readers’ PCS is unique. No two will have the same make, model, processor, amount of RAM, graphics card, hard drive or operating system. And, of course, no two will have exactly the same programs, apps and browser extensions installed.
Consider your own PC. Some of its software will have been pre-installed by your PC’S manufacturer – all these programs are often referred to as bloatware. Microsoft will have embedded its own products into Windows as part of its relentless quest to force us to use its own apps and services. Then there’s the software you installed yourself – either intentionally or not (yes, we’re talking about all those hideous PUPS, browser hijackers and unwanted extras that get smuggled in whenever you try to install a program you do want).
You can get an overview of the programs and apps installed on your PC by checking Windows’ list. Click the Start button, type add remove, then press Enter. From here you can remove any listed program or app, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Some of these might be integral to the functioning of your computer, and removing them may have a serious impact. Other programs – for example, browser extensions – won’t be listed at all. Your first step, therefore, is to produce a definitive list of everything that’s squirrelled away on your PC, before working out what’s safe to remove.
In this feature we’ll show you how to do exactly that. We’ll explain which dedicated uninstallation programs are best for rooting out hidden programs, apps and browser extensions. More importantly, we’ll help you make an informed decision on which programs you should keep, and which you can safely delete.
Finally, we’ll explain how to scour your registry for program leftovers and how to remove those stubborn ‘we shall not be moved’ programs.